Leadership Competencies Development Program (LCDP)

LCDP Class IX Leadership - A Rising Tide

 

Participant Stories

Chad Cary
In this crazy world of work and personal demands, when was the last time you were given the time, training, and support to work toward being the best version of yourself? Read more

Chad Cary

LCDP has been the mid-career catalyst I both desired and required to launch the next phase of my journey as a NOAA Corps Officer. I was fortunate to have already seen a wide variety of activities and leadership levels across NOAA before entering the program. This pre-LCDP exposure, while incredibly valuable, left me unsure of what exactly I gained from those experiences, how to leverage those experiences, and what would be the best career path for me moving forward. LCDP allowed me to take a long look at myself as both an individual and a professional. In this crazy world of work and personal demands, when was the last time you were given the time, training, and support to work toward being the best version of yourself? In LCDP, we were given an extensive personal and professional toolbox to do just that. The various assessments we took throughout the program provided me with feedback on strengths and weaknesses. Large and small teams worked together to solve problems or discuss challenges that might otherwise not be welcome in a work environment. I strongly encourage those interested to apply to LCDP and, if selected, to pursue your goals and professional interests to receive the highest benefit. The program is flexible and highly adaptable to your professional ambitions. My favorite aspects of the program were getting to know the incredible individuals that compose the class and program alumni, assignment rotations, shadowing leadership, additional training, and participating in councils and other forums I would not normally have access to enter.

David Diamond
I feel like a switch has now permanently turned to the “on” position for me...Read more

David Diamond

My first ten years in the federal government were with another agency before I came to NOAA to work in my present role as Advisor to the Deputy Under Secretary for Operations. LCDP helped me to establish roots within NOAA, and build a durable network. The program gave me opportunities to work on leading people and change management. As Acting Deputy in the NMFS Office of Habitat Conservation, I facilitated a three day meeting to reach agreement on program priorities. On a detail with the NMFS Seafood Inspection Program, I partnered with my colleague Amanda McCarty to facilitate critical discussions that produced a mission, vision, and strategic outlook for the organization. I was also a part of the team that programmed our class Leadership Week, which included learning from Amazon about maintaining organizational culture through exponential growth, and learning from tribes and legislators about dam removal and landscape scale change on the Elwha River. Above all, the program granted me permission to work on myself. I feel like a switch has now permanently turned to the “on” position for me. I will continue to keep learning long after my formal graduation. Looking back, I can see that the key to flipping the switch is your mindset and willingness. Whether or not you are part of the formal LCDP program, I encourage you to seek out mentors, detail assignments, and in general just be curious and open to the opportunities for growth that are all around us in this world­class organization.

Justyna Nicinska
I learned first-hand how NOAA’s leadership came together to work through solutions for their highest priorities towards organizational excellence. It was amazing to be part of the “outer ring” during these high level meetings..Read more

Justina Nicinska

As the Executive Officer for the Emergency Response Division within the Office of Response and Restoration, I chose LCDP to gain a better understanding of how the organization really works and to broaden my network through all staff and line offices. My best experience in LCDP was getting an opportunity to see how the senior leadership runs this organization. During my first rotation with the Workforce Management Office, I witnessed - and influenced - a large, multi-organizational change management project. During my second rotation as Senior Advisor to NOAA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, I learned first-hand how NOAA’s leadership came together to work through solutions for their highest priorities towards organizational excellence. It was amazing to be part of the “outer ring” during these high level meetings. LCDP provides an amazing amount of training, opportunity, exposure and experiences; all excellent tools for your leadership toolbox. I learned so much from my fellow LCDPers, and I would encourage everyone to really take the time to develop strong relationships within your cohort. I would definitely recommend LCDP to anyone who is interested in learning more about the organization, and who wants to develop their leadership skills. Expect to have your greatest potential tapped by getting a glimpse of what really makes you who you are. Prepare to be introspective and open to the feedback that will only help you to grow as a leader and as a person. Have fun, and embrace wherever the journey takes you!

Liz Kretovic
I learned first-hand how NOAA’s leadership came together to work through solutions for their highest priorities towards organizational excellence. It was amazing to be part of the “outer ring” during these high level meetings. Read More

Liz Kretovic

As the Executive Officer for the Emergency Response Division within the Office of Response and Restoration, I chose LCDP to gain a better understanding of how the organization really works and to broaden my network through all staff and line offices. My best experience in LCDP was getting an opportunity to see how the senior leadership runs this organization. During my first rotation with the Workforce Management Office, I witnessed - and influenced - a large, multi-organizational change management project. During my second rotation as Senior Advisor to NOAA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, I learned first-hand how NOAA’s leadership came together to work through solutions for their highest priorities towards organizational excellence. It was amazing to be part of the “outer ring” during these high level meetings. LCDP provides an amazing amount of training, opportunity, exposure and experiences; all excellent tools for your leadership toolbox. I learned so much from my fellow LCDPers, and I would encourage everyone to really take the time to develop strong relationships within your cohort. I would definitely recommend LCDP to anyone who is interested in learning more about the organization, and who wants to develop their leadership skills. Expect to have your greatest potential tapped by getting a glimpse of what really makes you who you are. Prepare to be introspective and open to the feedback that will only help you to grow as a leader and as a person. Have fun, and embrace wherever the journey takes you!

Martin Yapur
It is such a gift to know who you really are and how you are with others, understanding your emotional intelligence can have a profound impact in future...Read more

Martin Yapur

I chose LCDP to grow personally and professionally, to acquire the necessary tools to become a stronger leader, and to become part of a network that would help me articulate and execute our individual and collective visions. I embarked on two rotational assignments before moving into my current position as the Director for the Technology, Planning and Integration for Observation office. In my first assignment, I conducted NOAA­wide assessments of components leading to an integrated NOAA Earth Observation and Data Management systems architecture; in my second assignment, I was the acting Deputy Program Manager for the International Marine Protected Areas Capacity Building Program, where I focused on capacity­building and curricula development on a suite of coastal and marine resource management topics. I highly recommend this program ­ it is such a gift to know who you really are and how you are with others, understanding your emotional intelligence can have a profound impact in future decisions. I became a better person ­ self­aware, secure, and confident ­ as a result of my experiences in LCDP. Just remember: you work in an extraordinary place and with extraordinary people. Amazing things happen when you open your eyes!

Mike Murray
Never underestimate the power of the relationship­building that is facilitated by the program – it may hold the keys to your future! Read more

Mike Murray

My LCDP experience provided an awakening within me to the potential I have to effectively connect with colleagues across NOAA, to lead and inspire others, and to handle workplace challenges. Coming from a small field office that isn’t located with other NOAA facilities, I went into LCDP with the hope of developing a greater network of professional connections within our vast agency. In that regard, my expectations were far exceeded, as the relationships developed with classmates were rich and rewarding, and set the stage for me to be part of collaborative work that more easily transcends line offices. These relationships, along with conversations with my mentors and observations from job shadowing experiences, gave me a higher comfort level in approaching and working with leaders within and outside of NOAA. The training I received was helpful for exploring areas of leadership I found challenging in my current role as Deputy Superintendent at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, including managing workplace conflict and being decisive. My detail assignment with the National Park Service was particularly valuable for promoting personal growth in these and other areas, often challenging me to think and respond quickly in the role of Deputy Superintendent at a National Park and allowing me to be part of addressing a variety of conflict situations. My final words on LCDP: Never underestimate the power of the relationship­building that is facilitated by the program – it may hold the keys to your future!

Ryan Wulff
The LCDP experience far surpassed anything I could have expected...Read more

Ryan Wulff

I chose to participate in the LCDP program in order to learn valuable skills for my professional development, expand my network of colleagues across NOAA, and because everyone who had previously gone through the program had nothing but praise for it. Not only did I achieve my goals in this program, but the LCDP experience far surpassed anything I could have expected. I was able to learn and develop valuable tools and skills that were put to immediate use in my new supervisory position. I also had the chance to explore a completely different leadership environment through my rotational assignment to the Governor’s Office in California that gave me great insight into the state agencies I work with on a daily basis. But the most important part, and the one that I will take with me forever, is the lasting bond and relationship I developed with my classmates. They taught me so much and I plan to continue to lean on and learn from them as we move forward in our careers. I cannot recommend this program highly enough.

DaNa L. Carlis
It’s not about me, but rather it’s about the people that are grinding everyday to serve the American public and it’s my job as a leader to empower the people around me to be as successful and impactful as possible...Read more

DaNa Carlis

As a Research Meteorologist at the Environmental Modeling Center in the National Weather Service, I thought LCDP was for GS­-14/15s looking to move into the Senior Executive Service, and that my chances were limited since I had never been a manager, supervisor, or team leader. I soon found out that LCDP is not what I initially thought it was. It truly is about developing NOAA's next generation of leaders. I have had the time to hone in on a leadership philosophy that reflects who I am internally and gained new insights over the last 18 months: It’s not about me, but rather it’s about the people that are grinding everyday to serve the American public and it’s my job as a leader to empower the people around me to be as successful and impactful as possible. Through rotations as special assistant to the NOAA Homeland Security Office and to NOAA’s Chief Scientist, and as a policy advisor to NOAA’s Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction, I was able to engage in policy work and strategic planning at the highest levels of NOAA. LCDP is a chance to truly focus on YOU for an extended period of time, and for those brave enough to be vulnerable and willing to be uncomfortable in a space of personal growth, you will maximize the experience and become a better version of yourself by the time the program is complete. Expect to dig deep into who you are as a person and what you believe a good leader should be. Expect to not know how to complete a task initially but to figure out a plan of action by exploration and reflection. My best experience in LCDP was the time I spent at the Federal Executive Institute listening to and learning from my classmates and watching us transform over the course of the program. None of us are the same as when we started!

Jennifer Day
Be open and strategic in choosing your rotational assignment. If you know that you want experience in the field or at Headquarters, then look for assignments there. Read more

Jennifer Day

I applied to LCDP to gain higher leadership and supervisory experience and build my network across NOAA especially at headquarters in Silver Spring and across Line Offices. What I actually gained from LCDP was so much more. It enabled me to break down specifically what I do well, what I need to improve on, and the allimportant core leadership competencies needed to provide effective leadership to teams, employees and NOAA in my region. Being from the field, I chose a rotation as the Acting OAR Chief of Staff to experience headquarters and to learn how to deal with the daily firehose of information and work at the level of senior Line Office leadership. As Acting Deputy Superintendent at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, I honed my skills in program evaluation and strategic planning during a time of transition and change. My recommendations to future classes: Be open and strategic in choosing your rotational assignment. If you know that you want experience in the field or at Headquarters, then look for assignments there. You don’t have to wait for an assignment to be advertised, reach out to offices that you want to work in and negotiate an assignment with them.

Kathleen Jamison
I expanded my NOAA network and was able to see change management unfold every day...Read more

Kathleen Jamison

Coming out of my first week of LCDP training at FEI, my goal was to acquire supervisory experience and build my network across NOAA through my rotational assignments. Over the course of a year, I worked as the Deputy Superintendent at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in Savannah, Georgia, where I got my first experience as a supervisor; as a project manager for Ocean Data Stewardship Assessment at NOAA’s data centers, where I expanded my NOAA network and was able to see change management unfold every day in the context of the centers’ merger; and as an Assistant Director at Sea Grant, where I was able to dive into the nuts and bolts of management, including the federal recruitment process and performance management. From each of these experiences I learned valuable leadership lessons, experienced my share of both success and failures, and walked away with a strong sense of the type of leader I would like to be and of the role I would like to play at NOAA in the future.

Marina Timofeyeva
Do not be afraid - fear is the biggest perception and nothing else...Read more

Marina Timofeyeva

I chose LCDP to develop supervisory skills, learn how to build collaborative relationships, and raise selfawareness. During my rotational assignments, I served as Acting Deputy Director of the NWS Climate Prediction Center, worked with high level NOAA leadership on the NOAA Arctic Task Force, and organized an international community of meteorology professionals as a climate service expert while on secondment to the World Meteorological Organization. I recommend LCDP for those who want to learn who they really are, and who want to do things they have never done. Do not be afraid fear is the biggest perception and nothing else. Also, rely on other people. The ability to trust is a virtue. I built strong bonds with people in my class, finding optimism and happiness while balancing multiple challenges. I feel more confident, innovative, and resourceful with my expanded network of collaborators within NOAA, among other U.S. federal agencies, and the international climate services community.

Amanda McCarty
I learned that soft skills often matter much more than hard skills, and that these skills are more transferable than one would think. Read more

Amanda McCarty

The relationships I formed within our class and through detail assignments and job shadowing opportunities were the best experiences I had through LCDP. These relationships helped me to make connections that I would not have seen before relationships that are already contributing to new ways of collaborating and solving problems. Expect to grow in ways you never thought you would. On rotation as the Acting Deputy Director in the NWS International Activities Offices I learned that soft skills often matter much more than hard skills, and that these skills are more transferable than one would think. At the same time, on a later rotation as Acting Assistant Director of Network Relations at the National Sea Grant Office, I realized that it is still important to build tangible skills for management, including those related to the federal recruitment process and performance management. My advice to future classes: First, do your best to find others to backfill for your home office job. It allows you to focus on your details and development and empowers others in your organization to grow as well when they backfill for you. Second, be all in. You get out of this what you put in.

Marc Saccucci
This program gave me permission to challenge myself professionally and go for assignments that would stretch my comfort. Read more

Marc Saccucci

No matter where you are in your career, I would strongly recommend the LCDP program to help explore your strengths and to challenge yourself. It’s the most rewarding action you can take personally and professionally. When you do rotations away from your home, you can learn all the challenges associated with moving your family to a new town. One of the most challenging aspects was the stress and complexity of leaving my home and packing up my family to move far away from home for over 10 months during this program. This was also one of the highlights we created family memories that we will never forget. This program gave me permission to challenge myself professionally and go for assignments that would stretch my comfort. You might surprise yourself of what you are capable of. In addition to learning what direction you may wish to move your career, you will also learn things you may decide to avoid. NOAA is a great place and there are so many dedicated and talented people I’m so proud to be a part of it.